wall calendar via etsy
I've always wanted to be the wall calendar type of gal. You know, the carefree girl that can plan things on a whim because her days aren't already loaded down with appointments and to do lists. This is so not me. I used to be like this, but with my littles growing up at a very steady and rapid pace there always seems to be more to do and not less. In the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker (and your were thinking I had forgotten about these promised posts), she devotes an entire chapter (read also, month experiment) to Stress. You might be tempted to think that stress has nothing to do with a calendar, but when your calendar looks a bit like this every month... it has everything to do with stress.
Whoa. Not only am I overwhelmed, I'm dizzy. How am I supposed to manage my family, my home, my church, my serving and my friends well? Recently this busy-ness pushed me to a breaking point. My faith, my hubs, my children, and my friends are very important to me and I want to make time for all of them... But, my priorities had gotten way out of whack and the ever present reminder of our unfinished home got to be too much. I found myself anxious, guilt ridden and prone to tears at the drop of a dirty garment. How did I let things spin so out of control? God gives us a very simple pyramid to follow - God, spouse, children and so on. Where did I go wrong? Easy. My desire to be all things to all people left me with no margin.
School: New house equals new school. I'm trying to get plugged in at school and figure out a new school system. (Yes, it's still just elementary, but they do things different here and I'm only in my second year of this stuff.) I think it's important for public school children to see their parents take an active roll in their education, especially since they spend so much time away from home. I want my littles to know that their Mommy loves them and is still involved in their days - even when they are away at school. I want to know their teachers and friends for them to know me. Commitment.
Sports: I have two sweet boys that love sports. They would play every single one if they could. My youngest just played his first ever season of soccer. This meant two practices and two games a week. This was more than we had ever done before (PS - I think we started Liam too early - live and learn.) And as soccer season is wrapping up, guess what comes next? Nope, not the holidays. Basketball. Seriously? Commitment.
Church: I believe it is important to grow in my faith, be fully known, held accountable and serve. When done right, these things can be done in harmony and be extremely fulfilling. When done for the wrong reasons, and sometimes too much for the right reasons, it can become very ugly. My hubs and I both serve in ministries, do weekly bible studies and are a part of a community group. (A community group is simply a group of people that share life together - fully known, fully accountable and fully there for one another at all times.) I love it. It's how life should be - not 12 ft. high fences surrounding our homes that block us off from the world and everyone in it. I digress. All of this to say, we do a lot with our church and it keeps us busy a few nights a week. Commitments.
Friends: coffee, lunch, dinner, playdates...lots of friends (thankful) equals lots of commitments or friendships that can fall through the cracks. Commitments.
You may be asking, where do you find time to date your husband? Sad part - I haven't. Our marriage truly began to suffer because of everything on our plate. When I recently sat down for our first couch chat in a long time, I broke down. We decided that night that December is going to be Sabbath month for our family. No sports (yes, this means saying no to the beloved basketball), no serving, no bible studies - just family and friends. I don't want to look back on this sweet time with our boys and say, "I wish we had..." This means day trips, road trips, camping, impromptu dinners and brunches, walks at the lake, dating and time in prayer to roadmap 2013: soaking up every single minute of life. Not letting our lives lose their meaning due to jam-packed schedules.
A dear friend recently told me, "Sometimes you have to say no to good things, in order to be able to say yes to God." The idol of being busy does not suit me. I want margin. Margin to be the hands and feet of Christ when called. Margin to say yes to the friend that calls and asks if we can meet for coffee. Margin for a front yard tree climbing. Margin for romance.
How about you - Got Margin? (sorry, it had to be done.) xo